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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

AI and the Intelligence Community: The Tangled Web of Budget and Acquisition

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Woman analyzes map-based data visualizations in a situation room environment.

Between the government's rigid budget and acquisition processes and confusion about how to apply them, there is very little ability for the intelligence community to take advantage of a fast-moving field that produces new and updated technology daily.

Credit: Getty Images

Artificial intelligence (AI) carries great potential for the intelligence community (IC) to more quickly, easily, and accurately analyze increasing volumes of data to glean critical intelligence that can, among other things, warn of and help defuse national security threats.

However, despite the billions of dollars that may ultimately flow toward this goal, the IC still faces basic hurdles—such as the U.S. government's slow, inflexible, and complex budget and acquisition processes—to successfully transition and integrate AI into the community at speed and scale.

From Just Security
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